Facilitating “Wow” Learning through Humor, Novelty, Awe, and Fascination

Your Name: Joan Young

Work Title: Teacher/Academic Coach

School or Organization Name: Working privately this year for families.

Co-Presenter Name(s): none 

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: California

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Elementary teachers

Short Session Description (one line): During this session we will discuss ways to use the power of emotional experiences to engage and empower learners.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

In this session, we will look at ways that I have used the power of humor, novelty, awe, and fascination to engage students in powerful learning experiences. We can make small tweaks in our routines and incorporate novelty, awe, and fascination so that our students will have lower stress levels and be willing to take more risks and challenges. This is not about smiley faces and being happy all the time, but more about creatively crafting the climate so that students are in the optimal state for learning. We will use real examples from the classroom and allow participants to share their own wow moments that have come about through mobilizing the power of emotions.


Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: 




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What an interesting focus and title for a presentation, Joan! The title grabbed my attention. I often listen to children playing in the playground and here the laughter and excitement but it is then back to the classroom where silence is often the rule and laughter rarely heard. If students are having fun, they are often learning at greater depths. I hope that your session is on at a time when I am awake and if not, I will certainly be listening to the recording.

Thanks, Anne! It's one of my passions: to incorporate more joy into learning so that students actually will do the stuff that might not be fun but is vital and challenging! They can then experience the deep satisfaction of conquering their obstacles. 


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